A JUDGE has praised a pregnant woman who disarmed a “dangerous” knifeman, intent on sexually assaulting her.

Bournemouth Crown Court heard how the woman had wrestled a large kitchen knife from James Harrison after he tried to subdue her on February 8 this year.

The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, received a minor cut after Harrison lunged at her in Poole.

Harrison, 30, of Junction Road, Poole, admitted attempted sexual assault and assault, causing actual bodily harm.

He later said: “I accept brandishing a knife and directing it towards the victim; my intention was to use the knife to subdue her so I could sexually assault her.

“I changed my mind and she was able to disarm me.”

Harrison told a psychiatrist he had been fantasising about attacking a woman and had chosen his victim because he was attracted to pregnant women.

Judge Samel Wiggs told Harrison his behaviour was “extremely worrying,” adding: “I understand you’ve had a very difficult time and been subjected to abuse but it doesn’t excuse what you have done.

“It is plain that you have traits within you that are dangerous. This has affected your victim; she was six months pregnant and faced with you taking a large knife out and attacking her.

“She didn’t know it was a sexual assault; she thought she was going to be killed. She acted with the greatest of bravery and fortunately wasn't badly hurt. I have to protect, as far as I can, the public from serious harm.”

Harrison was jailed for four years, banned from having contact with under-18s and will be a registered sex offender for life.